|Paula Simas de Andrade||Brazil|
|Paula L. Green||USA|
|Beatriz Vieira Trezzi||Brazil|
The opportunity to live and study abroad was a turning point in both my professional and personal lives. The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) scholarship provided me – just as it surely does all winners -- with a much broader and more diverse experience than I could have ever imagined.
Beyond academic and professional learning, the chance to live with people from different cultures in a cosmopolitan center like New York made me truly reevaluate my identity as a Brazilian and Latin American. I could see what my country’s most positive strong points were and where it needed more development --how it could contribute to the global picture, and what steps it needed to take to overcome its political, social and economic imbalances.
For a professional in communications this is more than an enriching experience, it is truly essential, thus the importance of programs such as the IAPA’s. Besides the qualifications offered by a center like the University of New York, I believe this is the most valuable dimension to be considered when assessing my academic year in United States.
In 1992 I studied under an IAPA scholarship. My project was to study the experiment using photography by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the U.S. during the depression years to create awareness among the urban middle class of the need to transfer income to small farmers.
At the time, Roosevelt was launching his interventionist economic policy, the New Deal. The Farm Security Administration (FSA), established in 1935 -1943, was one of the agencies created during this period to help the small farmers who had suffered the impact of the Great Depression.
Upon completion of my research I began working on a photographic documentation of the sugarcane workers in Northeast Brazil that resulted in the book Raw Sugar. I sincerely appreciate the opportunity the IAPA scholarship program gave me and credit the creation of my book to the experience of having studied photojournalism at the best university in the United States: University of Missouri.